If you look carefully, you’ll find there is one less bottle of imported Italian Pinot Grigio in this world. Yes, it was me. I confess. The reason? Two days ago I finished the first draft of Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Capricious Shadows. The first draft of a book is the hardest part for me, unlike coming up with the story line, which is immense fun and a bit like putting together a gigantic jigsaw puzzle except you have to cut out all the little pieces yourself from big sheets of imagination. The fun part is, it can all be done while lying on the couch with my eyes closed. “Not sleeping, I’m writing!” That’s what I tell my wife. Once I have the story line in my head I write a ten page synopsis. So far so good. Having the synopsis is like when all the trucks arrive at the empty lot where you’re going to build your amazing new house. They unload truckloads of lumber, concrete, siding, and on and on. And there I stand with my ten pages of blueprints for the new house. “Okay, first I have to mix concrete for the foundation…” And so it begins. Three months later, after hitting my thumb three hundred times with a hammer and changing the plans a dozen times, I finally have my house framed in. The first draft is done. Whoo hoo! Crack open a bottle of Pinot! Then I sit down to edit. And edit. And edit. And edit. I go through the entire book from start to finish a minimum of 9 times. It takes about three or four months. By the time I’m on the ninth edit I never want to see the book again, but I have some good ideas germinating for the next book. And it will be the best book ever. Ha!